I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t even begin to count how often I prayed to the dice gods: “Please give us a Fallout miniature game!”
Well, folks: good news! It’s finally in the making. Modiphius, the company behind games such as Achtung! Cthulhu and the Infinity RPG, has risen up to the challenge of creating a game in the much-beloved Fallout franchise.
And it’s called: Fallout: Wasteland Warfare.
Time for a Fallout Wasteland Warfare Miniature Game interview!
We sat down with Chris Birch, founder of Modiphius, to talk about this exciting new project:
1. SW.com: The first time I heard of you guys was through the Infinity RPG project. Could you tell us a bit more about Modiphius? Where are you guys from, how many of you are there, how did your company get to where you are now?
Chris: I’m from London, Rita is from Belarus, we married almost exactly 5 years ago and created Modiphius the year before. It was always a dream to start a games company, and Kickstarter helped us get the support we needed when our first project raised £177k for Achtung! Cthulhu the horror World War Two universe.
We started in a basement flat with just the two of us and several freelancers working with us around the world. From there we moved in to a house with the office taking over half the house but that got so crazy with 6 people working in a small bedroom and on the sofa, boxes filling the dining room.
We took the plunge and got an office in Fulham Broadway 18 months ago and haven’t looked back. We’re now around 15 full time and over 100 freelancers around the world who are writers, artists, designers, editors, line managers, proof readers and so on.
The first Achtung! Cthulhu kickstarter led to one for Mutant Chronicles, the Thunderbirds boardgame, the Infinity RPG and the Conn RPG. We don’t always use Kickstarter, though we released the Dust Adventures RPG and the Airfix Battles boardgame through pre-order and retail.
The Star Trek Adventures RPG and Fallout Wasteland Warfare games are both coming out through pre-orders online and with retailers.
2. SW.com: How did you get the idea for developing FWW? Could you tell us more about the process?
Chris: I’ve actually been chatting with Bethesda on and off for a few years – firstly in my days as t-shirt designer and more recently for tabletop games. Fallout was a huge part of my video game experience and I knew it would be the ultimate tabletop game if we could get it right. I think any tabletop gamer that’s played the series has probably wondered about this.
Bethesda have really loved all the miniatures and we’ve had a great relationship. Whilst we’re known for RPG’s a miniatures game just made more sense as I knew people would want to collect the figures too.
3. SW.com: Besides the setting, what makes Fallout different from other miniature games?
Chris: There’s so many great wargames out there and we’ve seen a lot of post apocalypse style games coming out recently. Fallout of course has that 50’s atomic sci-fi aesthetic that stands out so well – from the scenery and buildings to the robots, gear and characters. This gives us enormous amounts of material to work with especially across the different games.
In terms of the rules we’re incorporating solo play and co-op play.
I grew up as a sole wargamer after my brother who I introduced to 15m Napoleonics left for college and I’ve always known that there’s so many people out there that can’t always get together with other gaming friends for many reasons so having a decent solo play system is one of my focus.
Adding that in means you can then play the wargame co-op with friends. We all know that settlement building is a great part of Fallout and it will be part of Wasteland Warfare. As you collect Caps as rewards for missions you can add resources to your base which helps your crew.
However you can also choose to actually defend your base against a friend, or together vs an AI. Each time you can try a different strategy – you don’t lose points by losing the base, but the winner gains Caps and other bonuses. So this time do you go for more turrets, or more covers? Fancy some traps or invest in some resources that will allow you to field more power armour?
4. SW.com: What is the thing you are most proud of when it comes to FWW?
Chris: We assembled a really strong sculpting team and I’m constantly blown away by the quality of the miniatures they’re producing. I think this is one thing people are going to talk about a lot.
5. SW.com: How are you developing the models? Will they be metal or resin or something else entirely? Why that particular material?
Chris: The miniatures are all in a high quality resin, some single pieces, some with 1 or 2 parts but all designed to be really easy to fit together. Each miniature comes with a sculpted scenic base like rubble, maybe with a discarded Nuka Cola bottle.
We chose resin for the high quality and detail which is very important for us. There will be a pre-assembled plastic two player starter set after launch – probably early in 2018 and this will feature figures you can already get in resin but will give fans a really accessible version of the game that you can play straight out of the box.
We’re hoping to get this in to video game stores and a lot of other mainstream shops to introduce a lot of new people to miniatures games.
6. SW.com: Are there any games in the market that were an inspiration for you? Or rather any examples of how NOT to do the game?
Chris: I think every miniatures game I’ve played or read has something interesting in it. I genuinely love trying different games and seeing what designers bring to the tabletop. We started from scratch with the rules for this, looking towards the Fallout games for inspiration in how the game should feel and using our experience in games design to simplify and make it an enjoyable experience.
7. SW.com: How do you intend to grow and expand the game and the community?
Chris: There will be a lot of support – monthly free downloads of new scenarios, an organised play kit at launch so local stores and clubs can plan tournaments. We’ll be listing local groups online and working hard to involve the community as much as possible. A solid plan of releases to support each faction fairly along with lots of great accessories.
Thanks you, Chris, for answering all our questions.
Or did he…?